GTS II Outreach Update: Berlin & Dresden

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Berlin


Arriving in Germany, we headed out for a morning of team-time where Gwen cast vision for our time in Germany. This led into a time of prayer where Sarah shared a powerful picture she had received from the Lord: she saw the ‘Harvest’ not as a picturesque golden field of wheat, but as an orchard with ripe fruit hanging in the balance. If not picked in time, it would fall to the ground. The weight of this hit us all as we interceded for souls in Germany.

That afternoon, we enjoyed a Shabbat dinner with Anica’s family. Many of the members of their house church joined us in the meeting room which had been transformed into a dining hall. Together we welcomed in the Shabbat rest with a variety of different cultures and languages represented!
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Global Outreach Day


Joining together with believers all over the world on Global Outreach Day, we took to the streets of downtown Berlin with a few local churches and poured out the love of God and the Good News of salvation through worship, drama, dance, personal prayer and preaching! We were given the opportunity to perform our team’s dance 3 times throughout the day, with loudspeakers projecting the message of redemption across the busy plaza that was consistently filled with a few hundred people. After each presentation, a team member was able to share the Gospel and boldly call for a response. A number of people responded throughout the day and we rejoiced in knowing they had stepped into a new life of knowing God. Throughout the day we also went through the streets in pairs, asking the Lord for ‘treasures’ and praying for healing. We saw many testimonies of the love and power of God invading individuals’ lives, and despite the refusals sometimes encountered, we were able to see how truly ripe the harvest is to laborers who respond to the call. That evening we joined a city-wide youth worship event, worshipping together with hundreds of passionate teenagers who are creating a place for God to move in their city and bring revival. At the end of a long day, it was refreshing to be in the presence of God with like-minded believers and just to worship – some of the team also received prayer during the prophetic ministry time afterwards, words of refreshment and encouragement. 

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Die Kreative

Livia, a GTS alumni living and studying in Berlin, invited us to join her at church, The Creative, and begin a connection with them. It was a new experience for most of us, as the church met in a cinema building! We were greatly blessed by the worship, and afterwards a stirring message was shared about growing in faith through God answering the deep questions of our hearts, and being brought out of false identity and into a place of full trust in Him and complete freedom. Again, at the end of the service several of the team members received prophetic ministry and soaked in the atmosphere of worship, while the others enjoyed coffee, refreshments and fellowship with the church members downstairs. In the afternoon, both before and after lunch, we went out for worship and evangelism on the streets and had many short but amazing encounters. Before heading back to our hostels, we found a grassy spot in the park and shared testimonies from our recent times on the streets, amazed and grateful for the Lord’s faithfulness. FROS7067

Serving at the Refugee Camp


Today our team split into groups, one of which went to a nearby refugee camp and served there for the day. In the morning they joined the bi-weekly devotionals held for the staff, and were able to pray over and bless the camp manager, who is a believer. Two of the team members also prayed over one of the refugees, who recognized them from the dance we performed several days previously in the city square! Between breakfast and lunch, the team was able to sit and hear stories of different people who had been seeking refuge. Seeing pictures on the news is one thing, but meeting people and seeing the longing in their hearts for home is another. We were so blessed to be able to sit with them and honored to pick up parts of their stories, despite language barriers.

The rest of the team came to a place where one of our leaders had worshipped many years ago as a GTS student, in front of Angela Merkel’s office. There had been a powerful testimony released from that time of worship, and we were excited to see what the seeds sown years earlier would bring forth at this time. We began with some team time and devotions, then led into worship and declarations over that place of influence in Europe. Testimony: As we were there, a young man stood near to us and listened intently almost the entire time we were there, leaving only a few minutes before we left. He was visibly touched and began crying as the Holy Spirit moved on him. One of the students engaged in conversation with him, and as he asked the man what was going on, he replied that he was “dancing with God in my heart”! It turned out this man did believe in God, but in a more New Age way, and asked for prayer that he would find “the way”, which the student was able to share is Jesus! One of the leaders was also able to share with and prophesy over a friendly police officer who came to check us out.

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From there we passed the Reichstag, the beautiful and historic governmental building across from the Chancellor’s office, and went to a memorial of the Roma-Gypsy people murdered in the Holocaust. After lunch, the whole team met back together for an afternoon of free time and shopping, then enjoyed Mexican food for dinner and returned to the hostel.

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Exploring Berlin


We began our day at the preserved site of the Berlin Wall. Walking through the outdoor exhibit, audio displays and picture boards told the stories of famous escapes, memories of family members, and destruction of the wall. From here our group split up, one group going to the refugee camp to play with kids and the rest went up to a high place where we worshiped for an hour and prayed for Berlin. From there, we split in to three groups, going to a youth meeting to minister and pray for the young believers at The Creative, another to the refugee camp to serve dinner and the rest went down a busy shopping street evangelizing.
Each group returned with testimonies. The youth group was a small group of young believers passionately pursuing God and encouraged through connecting with the team, the refugee camp touching the hearts of the those who were blessed to go and the evangelism team having encountered numerous people and blessed them. Germany is a changed nation and the people keep talking about how they are so filled with hope for a move of God across their land; people were open and willing to receive like never before!

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Dresden

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We departed from Berlin to Dresden, our final stop on outreach. Along the way, we stopped at Wittenberg, the village were Martin Luther lived. Though the famous church were he posted his 95 point thesis was closed for reconstruction, we were able to see the door (now a bronze memorial door with his 95 points engraved on it) and enter the church were Martin Luther was ordained. Gwen asked one of the workers if we could worship inside to which they said, “that is what this church was built for.” There, before an amazing alter surrounded by old paintings depicting Gods love throughout the Bible, we worshiped. As the sounds of our praise echoed through the centuries old domes and the presence of God filled the halls, we cried out for new reformation to sweep across the nation of Europe. In the end one of the employees thanked us for lightning their day with the sound of our praise. We then drove the rest of the way to Dresden, the capital city of the state of Saxony. UEIZ7367

A Day in Herrnhut


With great excitement, we filled up our vehicles on Thursday morning to drive the 1.5 hrs. to our Herrnhut Gateways community. Arriving in Herrnhut, we gathered together for a short time of worship together and then headed out for a tour of this historical town. Herrnhut was founded by Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf as a city of refuge for Moravians fleeing from religious persecution. A man of great importance and status, he lived a life of humility that inspires us all. Hearing of slaves who were counted unworthy of even hearing the gospel, he brought a slave to Herrnhut to share his testimony and inspired an entire community of people to be willing to sell themselves into slavery just so that they could share the gospel. The Moravians began a one hundred year period of 24 hour prayer and many were sent out as missionaries, sold themselves into slavery, packing their belongings in a simple wooden coffin, knowing they would most likely give their life for the Kingdom.
As we stood in the cemetery where these faithful ones were laid to rest (known as God’s Acre), we were inspired to consider our own lives and what we are willing to give to share the Gospel.

That night, we joined a prayer house in Herrnhut, The Jesus House, and took a one hour prayer and worship watch. As a ministry, they are visioning to rebirth the 24 hour prayer movement birthed in Herrnhut and see the ancient wells re-dug. We were so blessed to join them for one evening to re-dig these wells and to see a fresh move of God in the region. BMNE5435

Praying in Dresden University


Another GTS alumni we had the joy to connect with was Rachel-Ann. She now lives and studies in Dresden and leads a campus prayer group at her University. Two to three times a week, a few students gather together to pray for each other and their fellow students. We were overjoyed to join them for the morning, worshiping together and bringing encouragement to their group as they continue to press in for a move of God in their city and university. Following worship and prayer, we joined them for lunch in the school cafeteria, a fun experience for everyone!

Cafe Ministry and Proclaiming the Gospel


That night, we headed to the club street of Dresden to join a Christian cafe that is reaching out to refugees. They are seeing many come accept Jesus as savior, who then in turn bring their friends and families who also get saved. While our worship team did music inside, others stood on the street to invite people in and pray for people. The locals do a Bible story drama each week, which Elizabeth and Muriel joined in acting out. They put on a great performance and the message of God being mighty to save was received by all. Following the music portion of the night, we took to the street in front of the cafe to perform our drama. After the powerful drama, Mark and Sarah shared their testimonies and Paul shared the gospel, inviting people to come for prayer. Revival broke out as Jesus invaded the street! People came forward to receive Jesus as savior, others received healing and many seeds wee planted! One American girl we met in the street shared how she had never seen anything like it before and declared, “this is revival!” 
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Team Debrief


With outreach coming to an end, we headed to the Great Gardens of Dresden to remember all that God had done the past month. Sitting under a beautiful shade tree, we each took turns sharing about our highlights, what we experienced and what we had learned. It was a beautiful and precious time to recall the testimonies we had lived and to look forward to the coming season. With each passing year our gratitude grows for the opportunities God gives us to go and serve Him in the nations. It is a beautiful thing to experience the cultures He has made, to seek out the deposits He has placed in each nation and to come alongside of them to encourage them.

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Outreach Update: GTS II Odessa

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Happy Birthday Peter!

Before travelling to Odessa, we needed to celebrate something huge; Pete’s 21st birthday! We started our last day in Mykolaiv at the local bowling alley… at 9 in the morning, we had the entire place to ourselves. We celebrated Pete with some friendly competition and unsuccessful attempts at bowling a perfect game. We love celebrating birthdays at Gateways Beyond and Pete’s was one for the books.
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We then boarded a bus for our quick transition to Odessa, and the next step in our journey through Ukraine. Roman, our main contact in Odessa and a fellow GTS Alumni met our team as we arrived in Ukraine, and prepared us for a week of ministry at his family’s congregation.

Touring Odessa

We started our first full day in Odessa with a tour of the cities landmarks and Jewish roots. Odessa is beautiful in everything from it’s architecture to it’s landscape. Just walking around the city was a blessing and fuel to the fire for our intercession over Ukraine. Later we joined Roman for a city-wide youth night of worship. As we entered into worship the presence of God filtered into the church as we praised His name, and we were given the opportunity to lead part of the night and minister to the young people that had gathered together.

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Connecting with the Congregation

That following day we rejoined the congregation for Shabbat service and we had the joy to lead worship and we lifted the name of Yeshua high in English, Hebrew and Ukrainian! After the meeting, we joined the youth of the congregation for fellowship over lunch, where we learned more about one another, Ukrainian culture and it’s beautiful language. We then had a sweet time of worship together and released prophetic words over them, calling them into greater freedom, boldness and identity as sons and daughters.

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A day of practical service

On Sunday we were taken by some of the local believers to a warehouse outside the city, where they stored (among other things) some chairs for a new congregational building that is being built. With much vigor and enthusiasm we beat the dust out of the chairs, breathing fresh life into them for future use. We then loaded them up and transported them to the new building site. There we witnessed the manifestation of an incredible journey of faith, as the pastor came and shared with us their vision for the future of the building. They envision a building capable of seating over 5,000 messianic believers, making it the landmark for messianic Jewish believers in Southern Ukraine. They are praying for a center of revival to equip new believers in discipleship. We then took time to pray into their vision and join them in worship and intercession in their unfinished building.

Evangelism by the Black Sea

After enjoying a delicious cultural lunch with the congregation, we went to the boardwalk along the beach of the Black Sea. As we dipped our toes into the water we took the spare time we had to do a little treasure hunting, and street evangelism. We are excited to see the fulfillment of the seeds that were planted for God’s Kingdom that day.

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Next stop: Lviv!

That evening we boarded our second overnight train to our last, but not least, stop in Ukraine: Lviv. We were all excited to arrive in Lviv, but none of us were as overjoyed as our very own Krista. Her dream of her Gateways family converging with her own family in Lviv was finally becoming a reality! The Blessing family welcomed us in their home with Texan accents and Ukrainian hospitality. Their home is a story of a 20 year-plus faith journey centered around holding fast to the promises of God. Upon arriving we enjoyed some much-needed rest, and prepared for a night of worship in their living room. The evening was a sweet time with the Lord, where He ministered to each an every individual in such an intimate way. There’s no better way to start our last week in Ukraine, as we prepare our hearts for what He has in store here in Lviv.

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I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. -Psalm 122:1-2

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Yad Vashem

As we ascended into Jerusalem, our first stop was Yad Vashem the Holocaust memorial museum. It was an eye opening experience for the class to look into a recent time in history that greatly affected the Jewish people. During a time of debrief later that night, the students shared how God was moving their heart as they made their way through each section of the museum. Our group appeared to be most affected by the people who risked their lives to save those affected by the Holocaust. As we ended our time together for the night our hearts desire was that we would have the courage stand the make the same choice as they did.

Touring Jerusalem

Each year one of the highlights is a tour around Jerusalem. We had the privilege to have a friend of Gateways lead us around different sights of the city. We were very eager to see all the Lord had stored up for us as we explored the city.

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Mount of Olives

One of our first stops was overlooking the Mount of Olives. We took time to read out of Zechariah 9, the prophecy that speaks of Yeshua’s return at that very place. We marveled at the promise of His return as we heard the call again to be a people who hasten His soon return. ( 2 Peter 3:12)

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Western Wall

From there we took some time to visit the Western Wall which is located in the heart of the Old City. This is a very sacred spot for the Jewish people as it is the closest location to the old temple that they can access. We took opportunity to get close to the wall to make intercession for Israel. So much of our team encountered the Lord there as He poured out compassion into our hearts for the people of this Land.

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Garden of Gethsemane, and The Pools of Bethesda

For the next part of our pilgrimage we journeyed to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a beautiful building filled with the aroma of burning incense. This is the place where many believe Yeshua’s resurrection took place.

Next we made our way to the Garden of Gethsemane, the location Yeshua prayed the night before His arrest. Our eyes were opened to the scriptures as we saw that the victory began as He prayed for the Father’s will to be done. We can take this revelation personally as we move forward into His will for our own lives.

From the Garden we moved onto the Pools of Bethesda. This was a very provoking place to visit as we read the account from John 5. The man who had been paralyzed for years and had been overlooked and ignored by the world was healed in an instant. We took time to sing some songs in the church there before we ended our tour. Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy praise!

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Masada

Masada, an ancient stronghold chiseled into the rock face of a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea, it once stood as a palace for kings, and is now a monument of strength and endurance. It holds the simple idea of never giving up, even unto the end. As our bus pulled up to the foregrounds of this formidable foe, the students began to prepare declarations to hold on to as they climbed the many steps to arrive at the top. Aside from personal breakthrough that we were seeking, we desired that this climb would be an act of intercession for Israel – that this nation would continue rise to their calling. Some would run to see just how fast they could ascend the mountain while many more would take their time to really take in the surrounding valley. Moments later, though our legs shaking and breath panting, we arrived to the lookout knowing that we have overcome this mountain.

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Purim

We had a fun evening filled with shouts of laughter as we took part in the celebration of Purim, rejoicing over the testimony of Esther and her act of faith to save the people of Israel. Out of tradition we read the book of Esther in strange and funny voices while eating together and playing games. We thank God for the opportunity to share in the joy of the Lord in His land.

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Shopping Day

On one of our last days in Israel we made our way to some of the best shopping spots in Jerusalem. The streets were packed with people in extravagant costumes celebrating Purim. The team split into smaller groups to explore and experience a Jewish market and souvenir shops. Spices, jewelry, and scarves filled our bags for our families and friends back at home!

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Erev Shabbat

We had the great pleasure of celebrating our last Shabbat in Israel with Batel’s family. We were treated to a delicious Ethiopian feast and ended the meal with tea and coffee. It was a special time for all, especially for the students to meet their classmate’s family. Ethiopia is a nation so close to the heart of Gateways Beyond and that night our hearts grew deeper in love. We spent some time extending prayer and blessing over the family. As the evening came to an end we took a deep breath thankful to enter the goodness of His rest again.

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Happy Birthday Adam and Emory

We had a sweet time celebrating two birthdays at the end of our trip. As Adam appeared in the morning we burst into song and gave him some presents! The birthday fun didn’t end there. Though we celebrated Emory with a nice breakfast a week before, we were now able to give her some gifts as well.

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Debrief

At the end of each trip we make time to come together to remember all that we received and experienced during our month in Israel. The students all arrived to our meeting place for a huge brunch prepared by the staff. When we finished our delicious meal we gathered for a time of worship. We were so thankful for one last morning in Israel together as we sang songs that declared His faithfulness. We moved into a time of worship and one by one the students shared how God moved in their lives on a personal level and how He moved in their hearts relating Israel. Tears filled our eyes as each one poured out their hearts before us. Recounting the work of Yeshua in our lives is the perfect way to end our time in Israel. We want to run into the next season full of testimonies knowing that He will be faithful to continue what He has started in us.

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Student Profiles

GTS I Girls

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GTS I Guys

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GTS I Couples and Refirement

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GTS II Girls

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GTS II Guys

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